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Alternative cosmological theories  

Helge Kragh

Print publication date:
Mar 2019
Online publication date:
Apr 2019
Since about 1970 the broadly accepted theory of the universe has been the standard hot big-bang model. However, there is and has always been alternative theories which challenge one or ... More

The cosmic microwave background: from discovery to precision cosmology  

R. Bruce Partridge

Print publication date:
Mar 2019
Online publication date:
Apr 2019
Observations of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) form the basis for modern ‘precision cosmology’. This chapter treats the discovery of a ≈3 K microwave background and the ... More

Cosmological theories before and without einstein  

Helge Kragh

Print publication date:
Mar 2019
Online publication date:
Apr 2019
Although modern cosmology is essentially a twentieth-century science, its birth can reasonably be traced back to discussions about the universe in the previous century. With the emergence ... More

Inflation, dark matter, and dark energy  

Malcolm S. Longair and Chris Smeenk

Print publication date:
Mar 2019
Online publication date:
Apr 2019
The success of the Λ CDM model has raised a number of challenging problems for the origin of structure in the universe and the initial state from which it ... More

Observational and astrophysical cosmology: 1940–1980  

Malcolm S. Longair

Print publication date:
Mar 2019
Online publication date:
Apr 2019
Following the pioneering studies of galaxies and the universe during the pre-Second World War years, the period 1940-1980 saw the consolidation of the observational and theoretical basis ... More

Observational and astrophysical cosmology: 1980–2018  

Malcolm S. Longair

Print publication date:
Mar 2019
Online publication date:
Apr 2019
Since 1980, our empirical knowledge of the universe has advanced tremendously and precision cosmology has become a reality. These developments have been largely technology-driven, the ... More

Observations and the universe  

Robert W. Smith

Print publication date:
Mar 2019
Online publication date:
Apr 2019
The first detailed and extensive studies of nebulae were made by William and Caroline Herschel in the late eighteenth century. These researches led to wide-ranging debates on the nature of ... More

Philosophical aspects of cosmology  

Chris Smeenk

Print publication date:
Mar 2019
Online publication date:
Apr 2019
The development of cosmological theories has been accompanied by philosophical debates inspired by the contrasts between cosmology and other areas of physics. This chapter reviews aspects ... More

Relativistic astrophysics and cosmology  

Malcolm S. Longair

Print publication date:
Mar 2019
Online publication date:
Apr 2019
Although relativistic astrophysics began in the 1930s with study of supernovae and neutron stars, it was only three decades later that the discovery of extragalactic radio sources, quasars ... More

Relativistic models and the expanding universe  

Matteo Realdi

Print publication date:
Mar 2019
Online publication date:
Apr 2019
The origin and evolution of the universe constitutes one of the most fascinating and challenging questions in the scientific investigation of nature. The general theory of relativity has ... More

Space science and technological progress: testing theories of relativistic gravity and cosmology during the Cold War  

Silvia De Bianchi

This chapter deals with the development of modern cosmology as a consequence of relativity theory testing and the space race during the Cold War. The chapter describes the dynamics of ... More

Steady-State theory and the cosmological controversy  

Helge Kragh

Print publication date:
Mar 2019
Online publication date:
Apr 2019
The presently accepted big-bang model of the universe emerged during the period 1930-1970, following a road that was anything but smooth. By 1950 the essential features of the big-bang ... More

Stranger things: multiverse, string cosmology, physical eschatology  

Milan M. Ćirković

Print publication date:
Mar 2019
Online publication date:
Apr 2019
The period (roughly) 1990-today is characterized by a big watershed and branching of cosmology into multiple and hitherto unexpected directions. On one side, the generic chaotic/eternal ... More

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